Monday, December 18, 2006

Pennsylvania Is the "New It" Wine State!!!!

New York, with everything going on, nor Virginia, nor Maryland, nor New Jersey can rest on any laurels (which have been hard earned and well won) because the Keystone state has woken up.

This is great news for wine drinkers.

Pennsylvania has long been thought of as one of the sleepy backwaters of east coast wine, long dominated by its more publicized brethren. But there is magic happening in them there hills.

It was my birthday recently, and as my present, Dominique reserved a room at the beautiful Faunbrook Bed and Breakfast in West Chester, Pennsylvnia, in the heart of the Brandywine Valley. What a magical weekend. Oh, and the wine was nice too.

Faunhall was absolutely gorgeous. With fourteen foot ceilings, this old Victorian mansion turned luxurious B&B was festooned with three richly decorated Christmas trees, and the house was chockablock with holiday greens.

But the real news for this blog was the richness of the wines. The Brandywine Valley Wine Trail is rich with wonderful wine, dotted with some of the best wines I've tasted in a while, and wines that challenge their more touted states for red and whites, as well as dessert wines.

My next several posts will celebrate the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail.

Prettiest Tasting Room - Tie! Va La Family Farmed Wines and Crossings Vineyards. Twin Brook was also nice.

Best Tasting Experience - Va La Family Farmed Wines

Family Feel - Twin Brook Winery and Va La Family Farmed Wines

Best Tasting Bar/Counter - Crossings Vineyards and Twin Brook

Brandywine Reds

Twin Brooks Cabernet Franc - Vanilla, cherry and toasty oak all come through. Smooth and easy drinking. A very nice wine.

Twin Oaks Chancellor - Black cherry, coffee all come through. A dry, medium-bodied red, with a nice black sour cherry finish. Excellent!

Kreutz Creek Le Nouveau - A blend of Chancellor and Chambourcin, Nouveau-style light red. Excellent.

Va La Cristallo - Featuring Sangiovese grape, this deep, excellent red is also incredible. Excellent!!!

Va La Chiaretto - A deep purple red wine that’s nose is a mixture of green peppers and black pepper. This mixture of Cabernet Sauvingnon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot is not a good wine - it is an awesome one!

Va La Rustico - A dry Carmine red blend. A spicy-peppery Syrah-like red wine. A wonderful, nice bite to finish it off. Excellent!!!

Va La Barbera - A dark, chocolatey, spicy, Barbera. Plums and dark berries come through. Another Excellent wine from Va La Family Farmed wines.

PDX Fruit 52 Merge 2004 - An estate grown blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Aged in American oak, the nose of this wine gives off a big whiff of peppers, cherry and vanilla. And a wonderful mouthfeel. Fabulous!

PDX Leverage 2004 - An estate grown blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot aged in American and French oak. Black cherry and raspberry come through. Very nice.

Chaddsford Merican 2002 - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdor blend. Cedar and dark fruits come through. A big, deep wine from the Miller brothers.

Chaddsford Chambourcin, Miller Estate 2004
One of the best Chambourcins on the east coast. A big, exceptional wine, like a California Zinfandel. Chewy, plumy, and jammy, with a dry finish. Excellent.

Crossings Vineyards Nouveau - A Chambourcin success. Smoky, with overtones of cherry. A light bodied red. Very fruity. A very nice light red. Wonderful.

Crossings Vineyards Cabernet Franc - Deep, purple-y red wine. Jammy, with oak and vanilla. And a tart finish.

Brandywine Whites and Lights

Twin Brooks Chardonnay 2005 Their naked chardonnay is unoaked, clean, crisp, dry and light. And it finishes with a touch of lemon. Very nice!

Twin Brooks Mount Vernon Chardonnay - There’s oak on the nose here. Nice toasty oak and butterscotch flavors. Smooth finish. A lovely chardonnay.

Kreutz Creek Chardonnay - Vanilla, oak, and citrus all come through. Finishes slightly buttery. Wonderful!

Kreutz Creek Stuben - A spicy, strawberry scented confection. Fruity but only off dry. A wonderful accomplishment. Nice acidity. Drinks like a aromatic rose‘ and with a hint of pink.

Va La La Prima Donna - an excellent, refreshing dry white. Incredible!!!!

PDX Pinot Grigio 2005 - Wonderfully fragrant wine. Made in stainless steel, it’s full of tropical fruits. Light, clean, dry, with an excellent finish.

PDX Chardonnay 2004 - A slight touch of oak and vanilla come across the nose of this chardonnay that’s 1/3 stainless steel and 2/3 aged in French oak. Apricots and roses come through. Nice dry finish. Excellent.

PDX Viognier 2005 - A wonderful, aromatic light white. Wonderful!

Chaddsford Chardonnay, Miller Estate 2004 - Creamy big Chardonnay. Touch of lemon and apple come through. Nice.

Folly Hill Chardonnay 2005 - Un-oaked, stainless steel chardonnay. Pineapple and melon come through big. Very nice!

Crossings Vineyards Viogner - Stainless steel light white with incredibly aromatic nose. Light, and delicious!

Dessert Wines

Kreutz Creek Ruby “K” Port - A deep purple dark grape experience. Again, not cloyingly sweet. Very nice acidity.